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The Demoiselle

Edited by L. Munro

The Demoiselle

Textual Introduction
Lucy Munro
1The Demoiselle first appeared in print in the 1653 edition of Five New Playes by Brome published by Richard Marriott, Thomas Dring and Humphrey Moseley, which also featured A Mad Couple Well Matched, The Novella, The Court Beggar and The City Wit. It is the last play in the volume, and, like The City Wit, it is bibliographically independent.n10653 As W.W. Greg notes, the first three plays seem to have been printed by one stationer, and the last two (The City Wit and The Demoiselle) by another, who also produced the preliminaries. The printer of The City Wit and The Demoiselle is named as ‘T.R.’ on each play’s title-page, and he is identified by Greg as Thomas Roycroft, a stationer who collaborated with both Marriott and Dring in the early 1650s.n106542At least 30 copies of The Demoiselle in copies of the 1653 collection are extant, in the following locations
[* indicates copies consulted]:
UK libraries
British Library *[E.1423] *[G.18535]
Bodleian Library, Oxford [M. 38 Art.] [Douce B 333]
Dyce Collection, Victoria and Albert Museumn10655
Eton College
National Library of Scotland
University of Kent at Canterbury
University Library, Cambridge
Worcester College, Oxford
US libraries
Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass.
Library of Congress, Washington D.C.*
Cornell University
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C. *[B4870 Copy 1] *[B4870 Copy 2]
Houghton Library, Harvard University* [consulted via Early English Books Online]
Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California*
Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City
Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois*
New York Public Library, New York City
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection, New York - transferred to Austin, Texas
Princeton University
University of Chicago [PR2439.B5C6 1653] [PR2439.B5N8 1653] [PR2439.B5A59 1653]
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Yale University
Other Libraries Worldwide
University College Cork, Republic of Ireland
McMaster University, Canada
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
3In addition, at least five copies of the 1653 text of The Demoiselle survive as single volumes in the following libraries:British Library *[161.a.21]
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
Cornell University
University of Chicago
Victoria University: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Toronto University
4As Greg notes, there is no evidence other than the copies themselves to suggest that these were sold as single volumes.n10656 The collection was re-issued in 1654,n10657 and at least four surviving copies include The Demoiselle:Bodleian Library
Folger Shakespeare Library *[B4871]
Harvard University Library
Yale University Library
5There do not appear to have been any press corrections in the 1654 issue, and I have found no variations among the eight copies of 1653 issue that I have collated for this edition. The play was included in the Stationers’ Register entry of 11 June 1659 that transferred Marriott’s one-third share in the publication of the 1653 Five New Playes to Moseley,n10658 but no second edition was ever published.6The Demoiselle is generally well printed, and poses few editorial problems. There a number of minor misprints (listed in the textual notes) and turned letters such as ‘execratiou’ for ‘execration’ [DM 2.1.line877] and ‘Bankrnpts’ for ‘Bankrupts’ [DM 2.1.line943]. The combination of the speech prefixes ‘Amp.’ (for Sir Amphilus) and ‘Amb.’ (for Ambrose) seems to have caused the compositor(s) some problems (see, for instance, [DM 2.1.line731] and [DM 2.1.line733]); there are also some missing speech prefixes (see [DM 1.2.line495] and [DM 2.1.line876]), and some that appear to be incorrect, such as the prefix ‘Bump.’ in [DM 1.2.line498], and ‘Dry.’ in [DM 5.1.line2744]. An odd omission can be found in [DM 2.1.line732], where Trebasco’s first line appears as ‘. . . .’ when the surrounding dialogue indicates that he speaks in Cornish. Brome may have relied on a member of Queen Henrietta Maria’s Men to supply the words required here; Cornish dialogue does appear in his earlier play The Sparagus Garden, but it is possible that it was again supplied by an actor or another individual rather than being composed by Brome himself.n10659 There is little evidence on which to base speculation about the origins of octavo text of The Demoiselle. It is possible that the missing speech prefixes indicate that the manuscript had not been used in the theatre, but extant playhouse manuscripts are inconsistent enough for this to be merely conjecture.n10660 Alternatively, the text may have been a pre-theatrical manuscript, or a presentation manuscript of the kind that Brome prepared for William Seymour of The English Moor.n106617Of the copies consulted in the preparation of this edition, three (Folger B4870 copy 2, Harvard, and BL G.18535) have manuscript corrections by readers.n10662 The Folger and British Library readers add directions for asides,n10663 and both correct the incorrect speech prefix ‘Fry.’ in [DM 3.1.line 1210]. In Act 1, Scene 1, signature B1r in the Folger copy is poorly printed, with the ends of some lines missing, and the reader fills in the missing letters; in the case of the word ‘consumed’ in [DM 1.1.line159], only ‘co’ is legible, and the reader has completed the word as ‘coyn’d’. The British Library reader, whose corrections are more thorough, inserts missing speech prefixes for Valentine at [DM 1.2.line495] and for Vermin at [DM 2.1.line876], and corrects the erroneous prefixes which mis-assign speeches to Ambrose and Sir Amphilus. This reader also corrects obvious misprints, such as ‘bee’ for ‘been’ in [DM 2.1.line592], ‘Fortune’ for ‘Fortunes’ in [DM 3.1.line1297] and ‘thy’ for ‘they’ in [DM 3.1.line1302]; in addition, they underline ‘Nay’ in [DM 3.2.line1675] and write ‘May’ in the margin.8Occasionally these readers add or delete words: in the extra-metrical line ‘Or may J not as well deserve as well in bringing’ [DM 3.1.line1177], the British reader crosses out the second ‘as well’, and both this reader and the Harvard reader insert ‘you’ in the octavo’s ‘releas’d from your thrall-dome’ in [DM 3.1.line1287]. The Harvard reader also adds ‘speak’ to Oliver’s ‘I know you can good English’ in [DM 3.1.line1500], and ‘he’ to Bumpsey’s ‘for his fee, given Counsell, might have damn’d you’ in [DM 3.2.line1652]; Sir Amphilus’s doggerel line, ‘Jf Wat be not i’ the Compter, he is out’ is amended to ‘Jf Wat’s not in the Compter, he is out’ [DM 4.1.line2226]. In both of these copies, variations on the word ‘rifled’ are underlined and glossed with the appropriate variations of the word ‘raffled’ in the margin; the Harvard reader also adds the explanatory ‘finery’ in the margin next to Magdalen’s declaration that Vermin knows her ‘through all my cuts and slashes’ [DM 3.2.line1661]. In addition to his or her corrections and explanatory notes, the Harvard reader also marks a number of passages with a symbol in the margin, and in Act 3, Scene 1 he or she has added ‘de Prices live dere’ after Frances’s ‘What is that Price, / If it be no Welch Gentleman?’ [DM 3.1.line1474]. These readers’ annotations have been taken into account in the preparation of the modern-spelling text, and are included in the textual notes where their readings have been adopted.9 The only post seventeenth-century edition of The Demoiselle is to be found in The Dramatic Works of Richard Brome, published by John Pearson in 1873, and probably edited by Richard Shepherd. The Demoiselle appears, with the rest of the 1653 Five New Playes, in volume 1.n10664 This edition is presented as a facsimile, mimicking closely the format and presentation of the octavo text, but a number of changes are made. As with the other plays in his edition, Shepherd substitutes new ornaments for those found in the octavo, relines the text in some places, changes the position of page breaks (which necessitates changing the catch-words at the foot of the pages in question), corrects some obvious misprints and introduces a number of his own. In particular, the recurrent use of ‘J’ for ‘I’ in the octavo text is corrected.10The copy-text adopted for the modern-spelling text is British Library G.18535. In line with editorial policy for this edition, the text has been fully modernised. The octavo very occasionally presents verse lines as prose, and vice versa; these have been corrected (see the commentary notes for details). One oddity in the octavo text comes in the confusion about Phyllis’ name; as I explain in my notes (see note 5799 [NOTE n5799]), I have retained the octavo’s use of ‘Phyllis’ in speech prefixes, although I acknowledge that an argument might be made for the adoption of ‘Nell’, the name that Phyllis twice refers to herself by.

n10653   it is bibliographically independent. See W.W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration, 4 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1939-59), Vol. 3, p. 1021. [go to text]

n10654   Marriott and Dring in the early 1650s. Greg, Bibliography, p. 1022. [go to text]

n10655   Dyce Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum As Eleanor Lowe notes in her textual introduction to A Mad Couple Well Matched, ‘Greg lists two copies of Five New Playes in the Dyce Collection; the second cannot be found by V&A staff, but there is no record of sale.’ [ESSAY_MC_TEXT], paragraph 6. [go to text]

n10656   As Greg notes, there is no evidence other than the copies themselves to suggest that these were sold as single volumes. Greg, Bibliography, p. 1021. [go to text]

n10657   The collection was re-issued in 1654, See Greg, Bibliography, p. 1022. [go to text]

n10658   the 1653 Five New Playes to Moseley, See Greg, Bibliography, p. 1022. [go to text]

n10659   rather than being composed by Brome himself. For further discussion see [NOTE n6086]. [go to text]

n10660   this to be merely conjecture. For reappraisals of the nature of playhouse manuscripts see Paul Werstine, ‘Plays in Manuscript’, in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 481-97; William B. Long, ‘“Precious Few”: English Manuscript Playbooks’, in A Companion to Shakespeare, ed. David Scott Kastan (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), 414-33. [go to text]

n10661   William Seymour of The English Moor. See Matthew Steggle’s Textual Introduction to The English Moor [ESSAY_EM_TEXT]. [go to text]

n10662   have manuscript corrections by readers. The Folger and Harvard readers’ handwriting appears to date from the seventeenth-century; the British Library reader’s looks as if it dates from the eighteenth century. The Harvard copy is available on Early English Books Online ( [go to text]

n10663   Folger and British Library readers add directions for asides, The Folger reader marks Alice’s ‘You had other wayes’[DM 1.1.line152]; on sig. D2r, the British Library reader marks Dryground’s ‘O Devilish Rascall, / That can imagine this a Fathers Office!’[DM 3.1.lines1269-1270] as an aside, and the Folger reader wries ‘(Aside)’ against Wat’s reply [DM 3.1.line1272-1274]. [go to text]

n10664   The Demoiselle appears, with the rest of the 1653 Five New Playes, in volume 1. This edition is now available online: see Internet Archive ( [go to text]

Contact: Richard Brome Online, ISBN 978-0-9557876-1-4.   © Copyright Royal Holloway, University of London, 2010